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Old 11-24-2014, 01:40 AM   #1
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Towing with small pickup with 4 litre motor

My brother-in-law has a small truck with a 4 litre motor and he wants to buy a 6500 pound camping trailer. Will his truck be ok towing this trailer? He does not have manual so can't look it up. Thank you
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:53 AM   #2
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Just from your description above, hard to guess without some numbers from the truck.

4.0L sounds like a 6 cylinder motor.

My previous truck 1997 Toyota T-100 (the body looks like a Tundra of today)had a 3.4L 6 cylinder with a 5k tow hitch. Never towed that heavy with it, so I never looked into a weight distribution hitch and it's capacity.

How small is the truck?

What's the year, make, model?

Is it equipped with tow hitch, or, is the hitch in the bumper?

trailer brake in the cab?

Lots of missing info.

Inside the driver's side door jamb, there should be a sticker with info we will need in order to help you out.


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Old 11-24-2014, 04:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TAN View Post
My brother-in-law has a small truck with a 4 litre motor and he wants to buy a 6500 pound camping trailer. Will his truck be ok towing this trailer? He does not have manual so can't look it up. Thank you
The rv dealer will let him know which ones he can tow.
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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The rv dealer will let him know which ones he can tow.
Dum de dum dum, duh.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:17 AM   #5
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It is a 2003 B-4000 Mazda. It just has a bumper hitch but he will put a real one on if it will tow a 6500 pound RV Trailer.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #6
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Absolutely not. That trailer is WAY beyond the capabilities of that pickup. He would need to find a much smaller trailer, in the 3,500 lb. gross weight range if he insists on towing with that truck.
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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I towed a pop-up camper weighing about 2700lbs loaded with an 06 ford ranger 3.0 V6 2wd 3.73 gears. The 4.0 had I think 55ft/lb more torque. We towed from west Tx to colorado once. It actually struggled with the pop up going up a 6% grade causing me to be in 1st gear and 40mph almost to redline (maybe the 4.0 could pull that in 2nd). No way would I use that truck to pull a 6500lb TT. I did however pull a 5k 22ft TT with a 2003 montero sport with the 3.0 V6 (a few more HP/TQ than the 3.0 ford) and I had it at 50mph from Dallas to West Tx.It had 4.80 rear end and I stuck it in 3rd and stayed at 3600rpms. Learned my lesson after this that there is no replacement for displacement. I now have an 8.1 big block and I tow a 6500lb TT
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Old 11-24-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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I think he will be way out of his league. Just looking at my oldest Trailer Life Towing Guide from 2010. The Ford Ranger with the 4.0 V-6 has a top towing limit of 5900lbs, the Toyota Tacoma 4.0 V-6 is 6500lbs. Nissan Frontier 4.0 V-6 6500. But all these examples are ones with the factory tow package and the smallest cab configuration.

If you said your brothers Mazda only has a bumper ball mounted hitch at this time, I'll guess that truck didn't have the factory tow package to start with. So since the Mazda and Ford shared many drive-lines, it's towing limit could be as low as 3000lb on a V-6 non-factory tow package model.
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:07 PM   #9
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It is a 2003 B-4000 Mazda. It just has a bumper hitch but he will put a real one on if it will tow a 6500 pound RV Trailer.
No, he cannot safely tow a 6,500 pound TT with that truck. He needs to keep the max weight of the trailer down to not more than about 5,000 pounds, along with minimum weight in the truck, so it grosses less than about 4,500 pounds before he ties onto the trailer.

Mazda 2003 B-4000 is identical to a Ford Ranger with the 4.0L V6 engine. The 2003 Ford RV and trailer Towing Guide says the GVWR is 9,500 pounds. The SuperCab 4x4 weighs 3,920 with nothing in it but a skinny driver, so the Ford tow rating is 5,580 pounds. With one passenger and minimum toolbox and hitch shank and head and ball, count on a truck weight of 4,500 pounds or more. So the real-world tow rating is about 5,000 pounds.

The GCWR of 9,500 pounds means he can tow a trailer that will result in gross weight of truck and trailer of not more than 9,500 pounds without overheating anything in the drivetrain, and without being the under-powered slowpoke holding up traffic on hills and mountain passes.

The GCWR is one limiter, and it tells you the max combined weight he can pull. But most pickups can pull more than they can haul the hitch weight of that trailer without exceeding the weight limits of the truck's suspension or tires or rear axle or brakes. That limiter is the GVWR of the truck. The GVWR is on the Federal Certification Lable on the driver's doorpost. That's the same label that includes VIN, tire size and PSI, lots of codes, front and rear GAWR, and GVWR.

To determine the max weight of a TT he can tow without exceeding the GVWR of the truck, weigh the wet and loaded truck with everything and everybody that will be in it when towing, including full tank of gas, hitch receiver installed, shank and head from the hitch. Subtract that weight from the GVWR and the answer is the max hitch weight he can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight (tongue weight) by 0.13 and the answer is the max GVWR of any tandem-axle trailer that won't overload the truck.

(Tandem-axle trailers have average tongue weight of about 13% (0.13) of gross trailer weight, so that's why you divide the available hitch weight by 0.13 to get max trailer weight. Some TTs have tongue weight of 15%, so most experts advise you to assume 15% hitch weight of a TT - so you'll be less likely to be overloaded when on the road with a wet and loaded rig.)

After computing the max trailer weights he can tow without exceeding the GCWR and GVWR of the truck, the lightest weight trailer is the one to use.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for all the answers.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:28 PM   #11
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I towed a 24ft Fleetwood 5th wheel GVW of 5600 lbs for 3 years with 2.9L Ford Ranger. Totally loved the setup at the time. Gas mileage was 20% better then a 1/2 ton and unloaded it was 65% better.
I would not have pulled any TT trailer heavier then 3500lbs. A friend tried with a 4.0L Explorer and never could successfully tow a 5000 lbs TT.
But my 6.0L diesel F250 gets same mileage towing our 39ft 5th wheel and as good mileage empty. I learned my lesson but with good experience. We were younger and only vacationed 4 weeks a year with very little load in the trailer and only 10 gallons of water. It was the beginning of a great time traveling all over the east coast from Canada to Florida.
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Old 11-24-2014, 06:40 PM   #12
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I towed a 5,000 lb. trailer with a Honda Ridgeline. Anything over 50mph was a white knuckle experience. By white knuckle the trailer was pushing the Ridgeline around.

He should look at much smaller trailers like a T@B, or A-Liner.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #13
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I did a jayco jayflight 22fb travel trailer with a 2004 Ford Ranger extended cab FX4 4 litre motor 4.10 rear end. I weighed off the trailer and kept the truck within the spec's Max trailer was 5000 lbs I was 4900 lbs. We loaded truck and trailer very light.
The motor had the legs to pull the small hills here in south western Ontario
The truck did not have the stance to control the trailer over 55 miles per hour.
Tail wagging the dog experience any time a transport trailer got in behind the trailer it would get wiggly.
Calm day no traffic two lane road was the only way to go and keep lots of distance for stopping.
Tell you friend not to do it with that small truck.
The truck is not wide enough to see past the trailer with the rear view mirrors
Even with mirror extensions. I have done it but I am a farm kid raised doing the impossible with baling wire and duct tape.


I moved up to the F150 with ecoboost and it is a very enjoyable experience even in 40 mile cross wind on an interstate the F150 controls the current trailer nicely
The ecoboost has more than enough legs for any grade I have found so far!
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:49 AM   #14
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TAN,
As DCarver pointed out, his Ranger was in first gear at 30 mph up a grade with a 2,700 lb. pop up trailer. Your Brother In Law is considering hauling almost two and a half times more weight, plus the tremendous increase in frontal area over a pop up. He should seriously reconsider his options. Not sure if he would be happy with a small pop up trailer. If he is set on getting a TT, he needs to get a different truck.
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